The internet is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not careful, it can lead to virtual clutter that can take precious time to undo. The chances are, you have more emails in your inbox at work than you’re comfortable with. The good news is that there are ways to handle your email inbox at work, so that it doesn’t become a stressful task.
First of all, make folders for all the information you receive by their subject names: (“Payments”, “Collections”, “Providers”, “Customers” etc.)
3 Simple Steps to Control Your Email Inbox
To further help master your inbox, and keep it clutter-free, here are three simple steps that will hopefully help you in the long run. Incorporate it into your daily routine and it will become second nature in no time.
- Use your drafts folder.
This is a system that you can use every day. All you need to do is go to your Inbox and open the old mail you have there, starting with your earliest posts.
While you’re checking, ask yourself “is this junk, do I reply, do I forward?” Whether you trash it or save, you must do it right there. If you need to answer messages, select either “reply” or “forward” and then choose “save as draft”. After that, delete the mail from your inbox; don’t worry, the mail is waiting in the drafts and not now clogging up the inbox. Your life just got a little bit less cluttered!
From the drafts folder, you can then either file it, send it, move it to the trash or print it; just try not to leave it in the inbox again.
- Make time.
Be productive with your time. It’s very easy to be interrupted in the office or move onto a million other tasks. A lot of the time, the humble inbox gets forgotten about and neglected. This is how the problems begin.
You need to get in the position where you don’t have other distractions. If it helps, set yourself a time limit where you strive to not do anything else but sorting your inbox. Just fifteen minutes should be more than enough to make a big difference.
By taking control and not letting emails get on top of you, it’s so much easier to then start to achieve more.
- Sort messages with high priority.
Draw attention to issues that require immediate response – in other words, try and identify your emails in list of priority. Many, for example, can wait a few hours or even a day or two, whereas others might need addressing immediately. If this is the case, then maybe an email isn’t the best way to respond. Perhaps use the phone, text or post on social media if appropriate.
With everything, it is very likely you’ll discover that the more you practise these techniques, the more efficient and productive you become. Most importantly, that over-crowded inbox will become a thing of the past.
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